Friday, July 31, 2015

Dollhouse Custom Construction Tutorial Part 2 - Featuring Lilac Cottage

Let's continue building the custom dollhouse with this part 2 tutorial post. Since the last step, I added a front wall to the bump out section in the front of the house. It has 2 long narrow windows.  Plastered this wall and painted it with primer paint. 
 The next step is putting on your wallpaper. I picked a floral, a ridged cardboard and a linen fabric.  The floral paper comes from the internet. Pinterest is a great place to find printable paper. Just type wallpaper in the search and you'll see tons appearing.  The ridged paper is my wainscoting. This one comes from the scrapbook isle of the craft store. As does my linen fabric.

 After the wallpaper, I did the ceiling. I also used a 3D textured paper from the scrapbook section. It has a very subtle design. Then I did the beams. These are just Popsicle craft sticks. They are 3 sided box like. I make these directly on the ceiling.  Then I do the wood floor also with craft sticks. I like my floors to go from front to back. I feel like it makes the space more open and clean.
 You can then start all your trims. They are all done with  craft/Popsicle sticks. I have a double trim for the crown molding near the ceiling, a single for the baseboards, and some to frame the windows and walls too. This wall with the window will be the kitchen area. So I'm not putting baseboards here for now. I'll wait until my sink and stove are in place.
 The stair opening is also framed with craft sticks. I always leave a space with no trim where the mantel will go because I want the mantel to fit right up to the wall.I also left room free of trim where my stairs will go.
 Here you can see the front wall of the bump out with its 2 windows.
 I also added 2 pieces of wood to make my landing upstairs. And I wanted to add a vintage look with these 2 planks showing downstairs.
 The trim is now painted. I used a white wash. Just add a lot of water with your white paint.
 The floor color is several steps for depth. First, it gets the same white wash treatment as the trims and beams. Let it dry. Sand partially and do another wash. This time with grey paint mixed with water.
 My french door is from Ebay.  I painted it white. The door came with an interior trim so I glued that in place with Aleene's Tacky Glue(an all purpose white glue). I also installed my chandelier. Here's the tutorial for chandeliers:
I also added a light above where the mantel will be. I used a jewelry end cap on top of the bulb as my light fixture. You can glue this to the ceiling with regular glue or hot glue. I get my LED lights here:  They also have fire kits for inside your mantel.
I have painted some stairs and glued them in place. These are from Hobby Lobby.  They are 14.99 plus you can use your 40% off coupon.
 I then started the upstairs. I put on a front wall that is 15 1/2" x 3" tall. This is so the roof is not too slopped for the rooms upstairs. Otherwise, you get tons of unusable space. This also makes the upstairs taller.  I had the two triangles for each end of the upstairs from a kit. I decided to use them here. I propped them up on a  bottom piece of wood so they would be the correct height that corresponds to the front. These two side walls are now 18 1/2" tall.
I did my upstairs wood floors exactly like downstairs. Don't worry about upstairs walls for now. Just do the entire floor with craft sticks.And paint.

To make the back look finished I added trims around the edges. All 4 sides have trim.
 Here is the exterior view of the side walls.

 Here you can see the stairs. They are painted white with grey treads and banister.


 The last step for this second part of the tutorial is to make a little triangle top for the front bump out section.  I plastered it and painted it with primer paint(paint with primer already mixed into it).  This wall is now 14 1/2" tall.
Today is Lizzie's birthday! She's 6 years old. We have a big party planned. Her favorite song is "Happy Birthday". So she will be thrilled that everyone is singing it for her. It's a miracle she is here on earth. This tiny girl had a rough start with her birth and had subsequent health problems. But we have found a way to manage. So celebrating her is an absolute must. She's definitely a survivor with a love of life bigger than anyone I know. Happy Birthday sweet Lizzie!
Thank you everyone for coming over. I hope you are enjoying the building tutorial. If you see anything I forgot to explain please leave a comment below.  Have a great day!


  1. This is coming along so well! I will be glad when I feel brave enough to make a scratch built house!

  2. Me encanta ver cómo todo encaja y va tomando forma...
    Un beso! :)

  3. Thanks for usefull tips and tricks. Great post. Love the floor.

  4. Me gusta como quedan los suelos. Yo generalmente doy un tinte y los barnizo . Tengo que probar el método que utilizas tu. Muchas gracias por las explicaciones.

  5. Hi Caroline! Your tutorials are always so Inspiring for me to read and this Lilac cottage build of yours is
    quite intriguing! Love the staircase as it really adds to the realism. Happy "Woof Woof to your little LIzzie" and Many many More! :D


  6. Fantastic tutorial series! Happy Birthday, Lizzy!!! xo Jennifer

  7. Hi Caroline,
    Another wonderful post, thank you. I really like the tip about the wash for the floor. I do my floors in the same way, but in my big doll house I used varnish and on the little one I'm building I wanted a softer look. Just in time, you have the perfect tip for me. I was thinking of using watercolour paint, but making a wash with acrylic will be much better as I can mix up a big batch.
    The build is looking lovely, and the little bump out if a great feature.
    Happy birthday to lovely Lizzie too. :)

  8. Have the happiest of birthdays, sweet Lilly! What a beautiful girl you are! Please thank your dear mama for sharing all of her wonderful tips and techniques with us! Much love.....

  9. Thanks for the tutorial; it's so ispiring.
    Happy birthday Lizzie!

  10. Happy Belated Birthday Lizzie. I was thinking about your furbabies today and wish I could get a cat. I have to wait until sometimes next year for a female. Thanks for sharing your techniques

  11. Happy birthday, dear Lizzie! Caroline, I plan to make this as soon as life settles down over here :) In addition, I just purchased your newest book. I have ooooodles of plans in my creative future; now I need the time. Thank you for sharing your enchanted creativity with all of us.

    1. I know you are going to have tons of fun building your dollhouse. Thanks so much for ordering the book. I think with all the info you will be able to make exactly what you want. Just set tiny goals per week and before you know you'll be well on your way. hugs♥♥♥

  12. Wonderful tutorial it is so inspiring. I love the stairs. Wishing Lizzie a very Happy Birthday.
    Hugs Maria

  13. Thanks for the tutorial, it is very helpful. Honey says woof to Lizzy ...I guess that means happy birthday in dog speak :-)


  14. Happy birthday to you, little Lizzie! ... she is so adorable!You're doing an incredible job, Caroline and explain very well, I'm your master class!
    Hugs, friend! :0)

  15. Happy Birthday sweet angel Lizzie!!! I love the way your house is coming together. It's exciting to see all the work you do with each step. Can't wait to see more.

  16. Прекрасная Lizzie! С Днем рождения!!! :) :) :) :)
    Большое спасибо, Каролина! Замечательный урок.

  17. Oh booooo, now I'm wishing I'd done my floors from back to front like you did:( Oh well, next time. I love the wainscotting, definitely going to have to look for some of that!

  18. As I struggle to try to make everything perfect, you amaze me with your very simple materials that you use to create such amazing houses. I need to stop fussing over perfection, I guess. You did answer a question about which direction to run the floor and then how to white wash it. Good tutorial. Happy Birthday to Lizzie.

  19. What a great shot of Lizzie! Happy Birthday Lizzie! :)

    Thanks for showing us your process in building a custom dollhouse! I love how you can totally transform ordinary supplies, such as craft sticks, into something so special and unique! Can't wait to see the finished product!

  20. Hello Caroline, your blog is simply fantastic, and I'd like to say thank you for sharing this great tutorial. I have a question. What is the plaser made of? Many thanks and greetings from Hungary, Melli

    1. Hi Melli! Plaster is gypsum. It's chalky pasty stuff that is on walls of your house. Hope this helps. hugs♥

  21. Let me know apart from these construction works where this Gypsum Plaster has be applied.

    Gypsum Plaster

  22. I just purchased your newest book. I have ooodles of plans in my creative future; now I need Temporary Embankment Steps? the time. Thank you for sharing your enchanted creativity with all of us.

  23. Hello Caroline,
    I have written before, but it has been a couple of years. My daughter, now 12, and I are finally starting work on the dollhouse (1:6 scale) we have been collecting items for, for years. I remembered that you mentioned having a tool to cut the rounded ends off the popsicle craft sticks for your floors. I can't find that information now. What is the tool and where did you get it?
    Our project started out as a simple venture with 2 boxes made out of the wood you described from Hobby Lobby. But then I asked my brother to help construct the boxes (one for each floor - I was going to put each one on a shelf unit I have for my daughters toys.) But he said it would be better to just buy a large piece of wood from Home Depot and clad the whole thing (the shelf unit, which is on wheels). So he did, and now our simple doll house is a four story mansion with a ballet studio on the ground floor, a kitchen/livingroom on the second level, a boys bedroom and a girls bedroom on the third (all of our dolls are single), and a sleeping loft in the attic for the children (the students). I am hoping my daughter can participate in some of the decorating. Her birthday is tomorrow and I hope to have the roof glued on and the doors and widows cut out by then, so we can start decorating. I have a couple of other questions too:
    1. I can't find any doors for 1:6 scale. Do you have any suggestions. The dolls are fully 12 inches, so I can't fudge on the height.
    2. When you put the windows in, does that happen AFTER the stucco (cement) or before. We have a collection of lovely windows from Hobby Lobby. I don't want to mess us that beautiful molding.

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